The Heartwarming Story of Little Gracie and the Thanksgiving Carcass

Photo140228. 25 sept 07.  Thanksgiving turkey carcass.   Photos by Keith Beaty      The Heartwarming Story of Little Gracie and the Thanksgiving Carcass                                                          by William Whiting © 2010

Many years back when I lived in Upstate New York I worked in a series of department stores–all of which are since defunct or re-branded to reflect national chains. Back then cities prided themselves on their own regional stores touting local retailers as a reason to visit such backwater cities as Rochester, Buffalo and Syracuse. While living upstate I made the acquaintance of a little old lady named Gracie. She was a tiny little thing full of life and spunk. She had a slight over-bite and wire rimmed spectacles that magnified her eyes, especially at the half-moons at the bottom of each lens. Gracie operated the display department sewing machine at the once prestigious, Sibley, Lindsay and Curr Department Store. She often worked late to make tablecloths or sneak-in drag-costumes for ‘staple-gun-queens’ at Halloween–but only for the kids she’d taken a shine to. She was good with her hands despite nagging arthritis. She kept herself trim, prim and proper in the eyes of management while being a covert confident to all the employees.

As the Thanksgiving holiday approaches, ushering in the ensuing “Black Friday” shopping madness, any person who has ever worked in retail display reaches a level of exhaustion unparalleled in the universe. In retail merchandising, you’ve been planning, discussing and executing Christmas decorations since the middle of June, and you’re just about holidayed-out by the day before Thanksgiving.

I purposely ignore holidays, I never much cared for them. That being the case, I tend to be the “odd” person invited to various “orphan” Thanksgiving celebrations. Since I’m the ’gay-relative’ I never kept that much family close-by—especially when I was first out on my own. As they say, “God bless my family, and keep them as far away as possible.”

Working in a display department exhausts a person physically and mentally in the days leading-up to Black Friday—and here little Gracie, nearly fifty years my senior, sensing a lost soul, invited me to join her family for turkey day. She invited me to have Thanksgiving along with her son, daughter-in-law and grandchild. I couldn’t imagine how in the WORLD this tiny little energetic lady had sewn 175 circular tablecloths of various dimensions WITH decorative trim—fluffed dozens of yards of garland—and decorated countless artificial Christmas trees all while planning and executing a Thanksgiving dinner for family and friends!

A few other people were invited on a drop-in basis, mostly people I knew from work, but Gracie warned me about her sister Roslyn. Nothing anyone did ever pleased Roslyn. Food was always too hot, too salty or not salty enough. According to Gracie, Roslyn forever thought the room was too chilly, too stuffy or too drafty. Nothing ever met Roslyn’s impossible expectations. Gracie, while widowed, had at least landed a man. Roslyn on the other hand, had devoted her spinster’s life to a management career in banking, and always dressed the part—right down to her discreet, but obviously real jewels she wore solely to impress people. Gracie’s finicky sister was constantly reminding everyone of the pedigree and authenticity of all her fashions and gems. According to Gracie, Roslyn wore her jewels like she owned the ‘Star of India‘.

Gracie on the other hand, worked hard to earn a meager living, and carried a bicycle chain in her purse when she came or went from her working-class neighborhood—just in case she had to ‘clock‘ somebody in order to insure her own safety. Occasionally, when she worked late at the department store, Gracie (who was nearly seventy) would walk home swinging that bicycle chain above her head like Spartacus entering the Coliseum–but only when she was forced to cross the Court Street Bridge on foot due to missing her bus. The footpaths on the Court Street Bridge could get very creepy late at night back in those days. But life was entirely different for her sister Roslyn. She bought a new car every year and kept residence in an apartment building where she was greeted by a doorman on the “better” side of town in one of the other blighted snow-belt capitals of Upstate New York.

Gracie confided in me she’d never asked a thing from Roslyn other than she behave herself “once-in-a-blue-moon.” During family gatherings her sister would comment on other people‘s weight, or wax-rhapsodic about the Amalfi Coast, knowing full well no one else had been there. Gracie would try to keep the conversation going by saying she’d enjoyed seeing the Amalfi Coast in a photo spread in the National Geographic up until she turned the page and saw bare-breasted natives who were clearly from somewhere other than Italy. If only Roslyn would stop being such a braggart, so annoying, so pretentious, so critical of everyone—that was all Gracie was asking.

But according to Gracie, Roslyn found remarkable ways of delivering an insult while allowing her Freudian slip to show well below the hem—especially after a nip or two of expensive single-malt scotch she sipped from a flask she brought with her so as to insure it‘s quality. Roslyn once told Gracie, that she was “glad” Gracie had married that soldier Roslyn had “lost interest” in. But the way Gracie told it, Gracie saw him first, and Roslyn had tried to steal him away from her right-up until the wedding ceremony. In her own revisionist history, Roslyn attributed her success to not marrying anyone, let alone a blue-collar ex-serviceman, and that allowed her to focus on her career and secure a place in the world as a formidable businesswoman.

But I digress…

…After several decades of on and off “not speaking”—Roslyn was going to ‘grace’ Gracie’s table at Thanksgiving—and I was invited to join them all—but I was given fair-warning that Roslyn took no prisoners—had NO filters—and spoke her mind even if it was hurtful. Warning duly noted.

I was bringing a pecan pie bought the day before from a bakery shop on the other side of town. It was a hefty chore, since ice and sleet had already descended on all of Upstate New York. Meanwhile, they couldn’t have been toastier up in Toronto–the north wind blows over lake Ontario in cold weather gathering raw moisture that created sugar-coated ice-storms in every corner of the ‘snow-belt.‘ No sooner would the weather seemingly end than it would start-up again—never thawing. The early storm that particular Thanksgiving promised to last for forever.

I rang-up Gracie at noon on Thanksgiving day to make sure dinner was still “on” given how slippery it was outside. I lived walking distance from Gracie, but her family and friends were driving-in from Buffalo, Syracuse and Ithaca.

I was told to come over any time midday. Gracie assured me most of her family had arrived safely late the night before—except for Roslyn who’d just called from a rest-stop on Interstate 490 to say she was coming, but only because she was better than halfway there and would otherwise have turned back. I said I’d try to be there by 3pm or thereabouts.

Gracie was vexed with Roslyn’s snide remark about “turning back” and defiantly said she’d start dinner with or without her persnickety sister. Roslyn was already in sour-spirits, dropping the bomb that she hated the thought of driving all that distance for what would undoubtedly be “dry turkey” (even if it was moist) and stuffing that wasn’t nearly as good as what their mother had once made (in spite of it being their mother‘s own recipe).

At about 2:30 in the afternoon I attempted to walk my dog, who while young and chipper couldn’t maneuver well on the ice. The poor thing splayed herself out on the slippery sidewalk like Bambi taking his first steps. The dog couldn’t keep upright on the ice, and neither could I. I clung to walls, branches, hedges and gates until the dog found just the right spot to pee. We then navigated our way back via lampposts, telephone poles and street signs so I could drop the dog off at home and set out for Gracie’s. The wind and freezing-water was gathering in my eyebrows and mustache. It took forever to walk even a few steps gauging each carefully calculated footfall. Nevertheless I hit the ground HARD a couple times landing squarely on my tailbone.

Eventually I made my way to Gracie’s place, clutching the front banister for dear life, I rang the doorbell—but not before taking one last tailspin to the ground. It was then that I saw it: THE car–a duo-tone Cadillac Fleetwood Eldorado perfectly parallel-parked in front of Gracie’s house. Given Gracie’s neighborhood, either a pimp was making holiday rounds, or Roslyn had arrived. When the doorbell didn’t rouse anyone, I knocked at the shaky, tired, peeling green Victorian screen door decorated with a wreath wrapped in white iridescent polyester trim which I recognized from the department store’s table cloths–table cloths, which would premiere for Black Friday tomorrow morning at 10AM when the store opened for business. I admired Gracie’s red and green plaid grosgrain bows and lighted swags flanking her front porch. She didn‘t have money, but she had style, even if she did swipe all her supplies from work.

As previously mentioned, Gracie and I worked all hours of overtime the night before and for weeks on end, prior to the holiday. Here I was exhausted in my early 20’s wondering where-in-the-world this little tiny lady found the time—let alone the energy to decorate her own home.

Gracie opened the door and warned me that “Roslyn is in unusually bad spirits this afternoon.” The moment she arrived, she promptly began drinking scotch, and was working her way around the table telling everyone what she REALLY thought of them. Other people’s families are not my problem, but a home-cooked meal was just fine by me so long as I wasn’t the victim of Roslyn’s scrutiny—and why should I be? I can be charming, and I hadn’t even met the woman yet.

I arrived late due to the ice, and the whole family was already gathered around the table and were just starting to pass food around the table. I‘d missed hand-holding and the Thanksgiving prayer–just as well, as I’m a bit of a pagan at heart.

I took my place at the table following brief introductions, but Roslyn ignored me. I tried not to take offense, but no one likes to be ignored at an introduction. I understand shyness, but I recognize hostility. Roslyn looked at me with a stillness of expression that told me I was beneath contempt, let alone introduction. There was definitely something wrong with that woman–-she unnerved me.

Once Gracie had heaped my plate with turkey and side dishes, I glanced across the table at Roslyn who was still glaring at me eye-level which made me all the more determined to be courteous to a fault.

But there she was with was that stoic, almost ‘other-worldly’ face glaring back at me. Smiling sweetly, I asked Roslyn to pass the gravy as a way to try and engage her interest, at which point, Roslyn summarily slumped over and died face-first into the gravy boat with little tufts of yellow-white hair thirstily absorbing the thick, oily, floured liquid.

There was a beat of time during which no one fully grasped what had just taken place. Had she passed-out drunk…? Or fainted…? Wiping the gravy from her sister’s face, Gracie lifted Roslyn’s head and put a pocket compact-mirror by her sister’s nose and mouth, but she couldn’t tell if the condensation was coming from the gravy or from Roslyn’s breath. She didn’t look to me like she was breathing, and I said so, which threw Gracie into a panic. Cell phones didn’t exist back then and neither did 911. I took it upon myself to ‘dial’ the operator from the kitchen wall phone and told the operator to contact the police emergency paramedic unit and recited the distressed address.

Before the paramedics arrived and declared Roslyn dead on the scene from what later proved to be an aneurysm, it was the human reactions that fascinated me. Gracie was guilt-ridden for having made such a fuss over Roslyn’s numerous faults. But while everything was unfolding, Gracie’s daughter-in-law was removing jewelry from the body. The choker necklace I could understand (at first) but relatives were pulling the jewelry off her fingers and earlobes while other guests continued in a surreal way to pick at their plates. Gracie was nothing short of bewildered. After all, there was a corpse at her holiday table other than the turkey–but ever the gracious host, Gracie, in an indescribable moment of awkwardness offered me left-over’s to take home even as the medical team hoisted her sister’s body onto the gurney.

A dazed Gracie signed a form bound for the coroner‘s office, and I declined accepting the take-home “goody bag.” Just my mind’s-eye memory of Roslyn’s facial expression and her yellow-tinted hair soaking-up gravy through capillary action completely put-off my appetite.

I had done my part by contacting emergency workers, so after an awkward silence I bid my farewell. This had become a family moment where I felt compelled to leave them to sort things out on their own. There were befuddled goodbyes, but no one was even feigning tears. I made a quick but slick exit to allow Gracie and her family to pick over the carcass of their spoiled celebration. Bracing myself against the cold, damp wind, I slipped and slided my way back home to my barren refrigerator in my little apartment. All I had in the house were ketchup, stale bread and 2 frozen pork chops.

I was still a bit shell-shocked, so I let the dog out the back door to pee in the yard on her own, and popped the two frozen pork-chops under the broiler. Once I was settled in, I was suddenly hungry as the devil in spite of what I’d just witnessed. The broiler door jammed so I forced it shut with my foot, catapulting the pork chops into an irretrievable space behind the oven where they were left to thaw and stink-up the apartment for weeks to come.

In defeat, I turned off the oven and ate two slices of stale bread covered in ketchup and then went to bed. I had to go to work the next morning for ‘Black Friday’ to be on hand in the event that any of the displays collapsed under the weight of stampeding Black Friday shoppers.

Poor little Gracie got the next week off with pay due to there being a death in the family—even though she confided in me over the phone that she still hadn’t cried. After an exhaustive search of her sister’s personal belongings, it was determined that Roslyn had expected to live forever, and had never prepared a will. That being the case, everything was left to Gracie as next of kin. It turned out to be a most profitable Thanksgiving for Gracie, who promptly retired in comparative financial comfort for the rest of her days.

Happy Thanksgiving.

– Disassociated Press, 11/25/2013 – Republished from a post on November 24, 2010.


Can We Stop Jogging Through Jello Now?

Obama responsibility

obamaToday is the 50th anniversary of the assassination of John F. Kennedy. I was thirteen years old when that horror stopped the nation dead in its tracks–but I remember it like it was yesterday. A lot of time has passed, but conservative hatred masquerading as legitimate faith confused by hiding behind patriotism still remains strong. Lots of religious Hippocrates were delighted at the death of JFK never giving a second thought to his being a husband, father and leader of the free world. People pride themselves on stupidity, and that is their right so long as words don’t morph into actions we all live to regret. But this anniversary is merely the preface to my recounting observations of human beings at their most disappointing.

In today’s world, the Senate has finally invoked the nuclear option, and Mitch McConnell pitched a fit now that majority rule has been restored. He doesn’t want to see the reinstatement of Senatorial nuclear math–(majority rule)–but nuclear option or not, you don’t have to wait for the fallout. The fallout began well before the day Barack Obama took office. While Mitch McConnell is a very clever and politically astute man, he is an incredibly stupid person who sees no further than the end of his turtle-like beak. For McConnell and so many neocons, it’s not about what’s best for the American people–it’s about what is best for Mitch McConnell’s perverse worldview–and so much of conservative America– many of whom have lost their way.

Colorado congressman, Doug Lamborn thought it was “OK” to equate President Obama to a “tar baby.” Dick Durban sticks by his claim that an anonymous high ranking member of the GOP allegedly told Barack Obama to his face: “I cannot stand even looking at you.” Addle-brained, Rep. Addison “Joe” Wilson, Sr., felt a moment of turrets come on–and went with it, inappropriately shouting “you lie!” during Obama’s first State of the Union Address—and so the disrespect and abuse just keeps coming on…

obamabirthx…I was feeling lazy the other night and didn’t want to be bothered with cooking dinner, so I stopped by a local bar and restaurant for a sandwich and a beer. There was loud music playing, but I found myself watching the closed-caption evening news on one of the multitude of TV screens placed all around the room. Barack Obama appeared on television coinciding with a pause in the loud music. From behind me I heard a man say: “Somebody should assassinate that man.” I wasn’t prepared to hear anything that ugly and inappropriate rekindling horrible memories, so I wasn’t at my cleverest–I turned to face him, and with a booming voice said: “Go to hell.” The man didn’t utter another word because I come across as imposing when provoked. I sized up the offending, pathetic sad-sack–with his ridiculous mullet haircut, surprised to see someone who looked like he belonged in the back woods of Alabama transplanted to urban Philadelphia. The mullet itself told me everything anyone needed to know: He was too rt_barack_obama_100616_mn_face0pathetic and stupid to express an informed opinion. His opinions were clearly based on undiluted hatred–not on facts, nor accurate information–nor life experience. He was only capable of parroting the sentiments he’s heard on toxic talk radio and emboldened by the bar-lowering brats currently infesting both Houses of Congress.

Those sentiments are part of an echo chamber between right wing politicians and the media mouthpieces devoted to spreading hate and stupidity for the sake of self-serving media ratings and/or votes.

imagesAs a matter of course our nation’s elected officials waste more time languishing in gridlock than they ever do attending to the country’s business. We have elected officials who revel in creating suspended animation, specializing in roadblocks while ignoring infrastructure. Almost no one in Congress has any appetite for getting anything done–especially on the “R” side of the aisle–and believe it or not, Congress has about one more “work” week left in 2013. Washington, DC has been reduced to a never ending state of stagnation and pointless finger pointing. Congress’ popularity rating is polling somewhere between Ebola and head-lice with most of the credit due to incompetent congressional freshmen who were elected during the 2010 midterms while a drowsy national electorate slept.

imag3eeesWhen nothing constructive gets done, morons like Mr. Mullet blame the president for all manner of things that can all be traced back to misinformation campaigns that took hold inside his tiny little mind. Mr. Mullet is a prime example of the kind of person easily manipulated by both the Tea Party and neocons–capitalizing on low-information voters and their inherent failure to understand how anything in this world actually works.

imeagesEveryone has seized on the embarrassing healthcare website that stumbled out of the gate in October. No one remembers what they had for lunch, let alone important historical comparisons like: Medicare, Medicaid, Medicare Part D and Social Security–ALL of which began with shaky starts, but over time became popular programs that transformed people’s lives. The healthcare roll-out is merely the first time a national entitlement program of such a massive scale has been almost entirely introduced to the public by way of an online presence, and the twenty-four hour news cycle has had a field day fixating on its flaws.

Obama_8The prototype for the Affordable Healthcare Act was first implemented in Massachusetts by former Republican governor, Mitt Romney–with most of it’s foundations based largely on ideas designed by the conservative Heritage Foundation’s think tank. Nevertheless the GOP’s very own ideas have become the primary focus of conservative ire over the audacity of someone actually doing something to implement them. Perhaps conservatives didn’t want those ideas available to everyone and would have preferred to keep affordable healthcare reserved for people exactly like themselves. Staunch conservatives don’t ascribe to the idea of everyone being created equal. They don’t factor in the rights of women or minorities. I strongly suspect staunch right wingers view everyone other than heterosexual white males as something short of human. Obviously that makes no sense but we’re talking about a conservative worldview here–it isn’t supposed to make sense.

image3eesOur founding fathers initially wanted citizens from all walks of life to run for elected office–serve out their civic duty only to return to their original professions when the next citizen successor was sworn in. Nice idea in theory–but theory is where it ends. Forget about the citizen senator who puts down his farmer’s plow to spend time serving his country in the nation’s capitol. The Teapublicans have proven beyond a shadow of a doubt how naïve that concept really is–so much so that Tea Party freshmen have demonstrated themselves to be considerably worse than self-serving career politicians. (If that’s not frightening, then I don’t know what is…)

Barack Obama speaking about sequesterThe main source of our inability to move the nation forward boils down to one core issue: An irrational hatred of our president–or more accurately his race. Obama’s detractors may deny that race is what motivates their hatred, but it’s too transparent for them to convincingly deny. I maintain that were a white male elected president in 2008–who in turn handled his political agenda precisely the same way as Barack Obama–we’d never have seen the same degree of political gridlock. So the problem is not the president nor is it his message–it’s the perception of the president by those who hate him that’s at the core of our national stagnation.

imageresIt’s bewildering to watch a principled man smeared with lies, hatred and convoluted half truths. What’s particularly frustrating is the taint that lingers where lies are concerned–because there will always be people who prefer to believe a lie over the truth–especially when it dovetails with the “hater’s” own preconceived notions. If logic and common sense are inconvenient to an accuser’s objectives, liars merely talk louder and become more self-righteous. Take for example: Ted Cruz, Darrel Issa or Mitch McConnell–ad nauseum. The only redemption for anyone victimized by deceitful detractors is to remain dignified–keep a level head–and wait for the truth to win out while a fickle and easily confused public flip-flops around like a flounder on a dry dock. Barack Obama is a patient man who adheres to a higher set of principles, but don’t expect either blatant or subliminal racists to ever concede to that point.

barack-obamaThe very moment Obama took the oath of office, people on the hard right began a relentless campaign to continually smear and disrespect him. I’ve witnessed members of Congress withdrawing their hand when the president extended his (literally speaking)–and in the next breath you hear political pundits accuse Obama of being distant and unapproachable. Whether it’s birthers or neocon pundits fabricating all sorts of psychobabble, Obama rises above it all with an otherworldly air of dignity and calm. I couldn’t maintain my composure the way the president has–and there are few people among us who could.

barack obama2The noisy faction purposefully craft lies into faux-truths employing constant repetition. There’s a receptive audience out there either unwilling or unable to think for themselves and therefore gullible enough to believe anything. I have an acquaintance who despises Barack Obama. He’s incapable of coherently expressing why he hates the president, only that he hates him. When I ask if he’s ever listened to the president speak on policy matters or if he’s tuned-in to any of the State of the Union addresses, he replies: “I can’t even bear to hear Obama’s voice.” In other words, he has no idea what Barack Obama stands for but he’s heard things through “select” media outlets and prefers to drink the Kool-Aid.

121203-D-BW835-505If I bring-up the fact that a great many of Obama’s policies (including healthcare reform) have their origins in ideas Republicans embraced up until Obama implemented them–my friend claims I’m “making it up.” It’s curious how those same Republican ideas become “toxic” when people have preconceived notions about the messenger while completely missing the message. If Americans were colorblind, they’d likely embrace the majority of the Obama Administration’s agenda. Those same goals were, after all the GOP’s very own platform not so very long ago.

747E62F8-CD53-4E78-9A21-197A7AD22823_mw1024_n_sI once asked the same aforementioned acquaintance: “Do you really hate Obama, or are you allowing racism to govern your opinions?” That set off a firestorm. He ranted and raved about how he is NOT a racist. Although he doesn’t even hear himself use racial slurs during his own routine use of language–all the while blaming the world’s problems on Obama. He’s against ObamaCare but curiously enough, has considerably less trouble with The Affordable Health Care Act–blithely unaware that they’re one in the same thing. He blames corporate bank bailouts on Obama–again unaware that it’s a matter of historical record that those bailouts began under Bush 43–and that the economy tanked before Obama was elected president.

barack-obama81For those who maintain a purposefully limited worldview, all that has gone wrong in America became Barack Obama’s fault the minute the man took the oath of office. If I point out how all the massive problems that confront the nation were growing like a silent tumor for decades starting with “Saint Ronald,” but coming to a head during the excesses of the Bush/Cheney years he says: “When are you typical bleeding heart liberals going to stop blaming Bush?” Regarding certain events and issues (from incomprehensibly costly losses of blood and treasure, to incompetent responses to natural disasters) my answer is: “Never.” And for a very good reason. It’s patently stupid to think that problems start and stop with each successive administration. History is a linear continuum, and the course of the nation (as well as its budget) are set in stone by the preceding president leaving his barack-obamasuccessor stuck with those preexisting factors for the first three or more years in office. In the case of Barack Obama, the hand he was dealt by George W. Bush was so bad–so toxic–and in such disarray that no one in the world could neutralize our collective catastrophes in two terms. All Obama can do is set us on the right course, and hope that his successors continue to guide us along a productive path. Obama’s presidency has been perpetually kneecapped by a House full of obstructionists whose primary goal is nothing more than a “game” to regain control of the White House in 2016. In GOP tea-speak, the job of governing is secondary to playing chess with all of our lives and fortunes (such as they are) merely to regain political power.

Obama is a populist in spite of criticisms that he’s too professorial. He is a very cerebral man, and I’ll take a thoughtful leader over a monosyllabic reactionary any day. He’s displayed a cool, levelheaded grace in spite of near impossible odds. His presidency has 130523_barack_obama_speech_ap_605been stalled by obstructionism, prejudice, fear-mongering, heart-rending gun violence, layered on top of unforeseen international, industrial and natural disasters–yet he has managed to neutralize many of our worst international enemies and accomplish things the Bush Administration couldn’t begin to address. The stock market has soared to new heights and more than recovered from the days when Bush left office. (Albeit a jobless recovery–but you can largely blame that on Congressional inaction.) However, you’ll never convince my reactionary acquaintance–or Mr. Mullet–they’re both too busy following football. And they’re only colorblind when it comes to the players on the sports teams they follow. Getting people to pay attention to the issues that really matter is like jogging through Jello. It can be done, but it’s slippery going. Everyone has a right to their opinion–even when it’s patently stupid. My own gut instincts tell me that Barack Obama learned early in life that there’s a lot less traffic on the high road and eventually we will follow his lead. Sadly, the rest of Washington, DC prefers to stumble over what lies behind them in an endless effort to march obama-family-peopleblindfolded, backward toward the past. History exists as a road map to the future so that we may reflect on the past to guide us forward–not backward.

May our president and his family be safe and well on this sad anniversary–and continue in good health in all the days that follow.

Disassociated Press – 11/15/2013

If You Don’t Vote–Don’t Complain About the Outcome of an Election

Workin the polls11teaparty1People are busy. They have things to do, television shows to watch and time to waste as they see fit. That’s all well and good, but elections don’t just happen during presidential years. Elections happen EVERY year. So many of the really disturbing impediments to progress sneak past the general population during off-year elections, primaries and midterms. 2013 is an off-year, and while there are very important high profile gubernatorial races in some of the states like New Jersey and Virginia–many other states are voting for candidates in less widely watched matches for elected offices that don’t get the media attention higher profile run-offs enjoy. That however, doesn’t make those elections unimportant or without consequences.

AP609338614431-e1381755593889The deterioration of sanity known as the Tea Party took root during off-year elections, and grew to become fully disturbing blockages of progress during the following midterms. This is because a vast majority of people don’t pay attention, and therefore don’t feel compelled to turn out for the less “sexy” political match-ups.

WinnieToons entry for this week is very spare, due to my being spread a bit thin at the moment–well, that–and I’m working on a more complex blog essay that I’m not yet ready to publish. The only message I have to impart today is a very simple one: If you don’t vote, you forfeit your right to complain. It’s too easy (and inaccurate) to blame everything on the president or the dunderheads in Workin the pollsCongress–not that there isn’t some truth to those opinions. but if your government and your sense of fair representation through government runs counter to your best interests–go ahead and complain–but only if you’ve taken the time and effort to turn out and vote. Otherwise, you can keep your opinions to yourself, because you made a conscious decision to silence your own voice.

– Disassociated Press, 11/4/2013

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